Original U.S. WWII 1st Infantry Div. 1943 M1 McCord Fixed Bale Helmet & M1943 Field Jacket - The Big Red One
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a genuine WWII Front-Seam Fixed Bale M1 Helmet made by McCord Radiator, along with a very good condition M1943 Field Jacket. Both bear the Insignia of the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division, known as "The Big Red One." It looks as though the helmet was repainted post war, possibly to match the jacket, but it is definitely all WWII construction.
The Jacket, Field, M1943 was standardized field jacket issued to Army soldiers in WWII. It was longer than the M-1941 jacket, coming down to the upper thighs. It was made in a light olive-drab OD7, later a darker OD9 cotton sateen. It also had a detachable hood, drawstring waist, two large breast pockets and two skirt pockets.
This example is in very good condition, with light wear and some staining. There are a few tears on the inner liner from wear, and the lowest front button is cracked in half. Also some of the buttons have been restitched. It looks great, and has a lovely 1st infantry division insignia on the left shoulder.
The U.S. WWII M-1 helmet was only produced from 1941 to 1945. The first production batch resulted with over 323,510 M-1 helmets before the start of the American involvement in the war. This helmet is heat lot stamped 625A which indicates the approximate manufacture date of August - September 1943, not long before the move to swivel bales.
The Ordnance Department selected McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Company of Detroit Michigan to produce the steel M1 helmet bodies. These bodies were made from a single piece of Hadfield Manganese steel that was produced by the Carnegie-Illinois & Sharon Steel Corporations. Each completed raw M-1 helmet shell weighed 2.25 lbs each.
This fantastic condition M1 shell has correct mid war fixed chinstrap loops, called "bales," and a stainless steel rim with a front seam. These rims were both rust resistant and had "non-magnetic qualities" that reduced the chance of error readings when placed around certain sensitive equipment (such as a compass). In November 1944 the specification was changed to have the rim seam in the rear of the helmet.
This helmet is a fine example and still retains most of its original WW2 parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint, though it was definitely painted over at some point post war to go with the jacket. At this time the Insignia on the front was also added. The shell has the correct front seam with large oval welds, confirming it is a McCord shell. It has the correct early war OD green #3 Chin strap with a stamped steel buckle and brass clip, so it was made during the changeover period.
The liner is correct high pressure WWII issue and stamped with a S in an oval over 6 for the SEAMAN PAPER COMPANY. This marking is very faint, as it appears the inside of the liner was cleaned aggressively, making the marking very faint.Manufactured in Chicago, Illinois this "high pressure" manufactured M-1 helmet liner is identified by an embossed "S" in the crown. Seaman Paper Company started delivery to the US Army in September 1942. They produced approximately between 2,000,000 - 4,000,000 M-1 helmet liners and discontinued production around August 17, 1945 when the war ended.
This true US WWII M-1 helmet liner be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. Other correct WW2 features include cotton herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner, with the webbing in very good shape. This HBT suspension is held tightly within the M-1 helmet liner by rivets and a series of triangular "A" washers. The three upper suspension bands are joined together with the correct OD green string. This way the wearer could adjust the fit. The sweatband is present, showing only light wear. All of the suspension is still attached to the A washers, and the leather liner chin strap is still present as well.
This is a really great chance to pick up a very nice 1st Infantry Division Helmet and Jacket set, all dressed up and ready to display!
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